Is it too much expect perfection on my FIRST bespoke jacket?

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by Grand Phuba, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Grand Phuba

    Grand Phuba Starting Member

    Paranaque City
    So I just had my second fitting for my first jacket/sport coat a few hours ago. The arm holes seem to be bigger than I wanted, that is, when I raise my arms horizontally, the rest of the coat follows.

    I already requested during my first fitting that the bottom of the arm scye be raised, and the tailor said he can do so by pinching/reducing some cloth from the shoulder. That seem to have helped a bit, but unfortunately didn't resolve the issue completely. The tailor said he can raise it a bit more, but I fear it still won't resolve the issue completely.

    Given that the fabric has already been cut with armholes larger than necessary, should I chalk this up to learning experience and move on or should I demand perfection from the company? I'm inclined to do the former and just strive for better iterations on my next orders; but the fact that I have a 60 USD wrangler denim jacket with armholes that fit better does bother me.

    Don't get me wrong, the rest of the jacket looks superb. The length of the jacket and sleeves, the suppression, the button stance, etc. they all look fine to me. The only issue I have is the jacket follows whenever I raise my arms.

    I paid around 1000 USD for this (fabric + labor). Yes I'm aware that's not really saville row money territory, but I'm in the Philippines, so that money still goes a long way (especially for solely the jacket).

    I know that learning and building a relationship with the tailor is part of the sartorial journey, but am I shortchanging myself if I let this slip by?

    What do you think, should I expect outright perfection on my FIRST coat or is it normal for the first few bespoke coats to not be 100% perfect?
  2. winghus

    winghus Senior Member

    United States
    North Carolina
    Everyone I see posting bespoke stories over at "that other forum" goes through several iterations before they get what they feel is "perfect" for them, even with shops like Steed or B&Tailor.
  3. TheBarbaron

    TheBarbaron Senior Member

    United States
    Agreed, winghus. Perfection is a really difficult term to define in clothing, and is a moving target. Things I considered a nearly perfect fit five years ago wouldn't make it into my closet today - the jackets I've most recently had made feel and look amazing to me, but I'm sure that I will refine my desired fit further as I go along.

    Your tailor is now more aware of your armhole/mobility desires; certainly reinforce that point if you're considering another jacket from him, and iterate. If the next one isn't any better in that dimension, that's the correct time to take a principled stand.
  4. WA

    WA Honors Member

    United States
    Depends on the lessons one comes from. From the makers view point it is better to start with a too small of scye (armholes) than one too big. Not in the business, but that is what I learned. Sometimes scyes are in the wrong place or wrong angle or wrong shape. Lifting the coat to make the scye smaller moves the waist up as well as the chest, which leaves me wondering how they can be in the right place, now. Maybe their reasoning is that sweat stays with the shirt and stays off the coat more (shirts are easier to clean and replace). Don't know how hot and muggy your climate is. One method of measuring the scye depth is to take the measuring tape around the back neck, down under the arms and straight across the back. With the tape level, at center back, measure from there to the top of tape at the neck (some measure to the bottom edge of the tape at neck).

    Not to put this tailor down, but I think he is incompetent, unless you have a body that is hard to make for. Normally, refinement starts at a higher level of fit. Of course, are there any better tailors around there. Some areas around the world the tailors have less lessons than other places.
  5. Mr. B. Scott Robinson

    Mr. B. Scott Robinson Super Member

    Karachi, Pakistan - Bangkok, Thailand
    United States
    Establishing a relationship with a new tailor is a bit like dating. There is a lot of excitement and good vibes initially, but one must maintain realistic expectations to have a positive outcome and avoid disappointment.

    Preferences are sometime hard to articulate, and even the best of tailors are not mind readers. I am starting to work with one of the best tailors in Bangkok and he was upfront and told me to expect about 90% - 95% satisfaction on my first order. As we communicate and he becomes more accustomed to my preferences, the fit and style will continue to improve. This has also been my experience with prior tailors in other regions.

    One thing I do suggest on the first visit is to bring in an item where you think the fit is perfect. This way the tailor can take a look, determine if the fit is actually correct, and use the item as a visual reference point for your preferences.

    I do try to avoid tailors who try to push me into their "box" as opposed to learning to work within mine. A quality tailor with a good sartorial vision can take their experience and adapt it to the clients desires, while simultaneously educating the client as to what looks best and what to avoid.

    $1000 may seem like a lot to pay for something that isn't 100% to your liking, but developing a relationship with a good tailor is more than a commercial transaction. It is being simpatico with an individual who is augmenting the part of you which you show to the world.


    medhat, TheBarbaron and Grand Phuba like this.
  6. medhat

    medhat Super Member

    United States
    You mention this is your first bespoke. I get the impression that is isn't your tailor's first bespoke. I think it's worth having a discussion with your tailor as to why he/she might prefer the larger armholes. Comfort, perhaps? There's only one way to find out, and like building a home, better during construction than after.

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